Govt tricked people
The government has tricked people by hastily unveiling the foundation plaque of the Rampal power plant, said noted academician and environmental activist Prof Anu Mohammad yesterday.
"They (government) know it will not be possible to unveil the foundation plaque at Rampal on the scheduled date as people will resist it. That's why, the prime minister has done it through 'a remote control' staying far away from the spot," he said.
Anu Mohammad was addressing a roundtable on "possible impacts of the power plant on the Sundarbans" organised by National Committee for Saving the Sundarbans (NCSS) at Dhaka Reporters Unity.
Through a video conference, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh unveiled the foundation plaque of the Rampal power plant yesterday, disregarding environmentalists' fear of a disastrous impact on the Sundarbans.
The premier was scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the coal-based power station at Rampal, Bagerhat, 14 kilometres off the Sundarbans, on October 22 but she unveiled the plaque at Bheramara, Kushtia after Singh expressed inability to join the ceremony that day.
Anu Mohammad said the people would not allow setting up of the plant, as it went against their interests. The plaque will be a symbol of "government trickery", he said. Ignoring experts' opinions, the government is trying to serve the purposes of vested quarters, he observed.
Abdullah Harun Chowdhury, a professor of environmental science at Khulna University, said the plant would cause air and water pollution, soil erosion, human diseases, and raise temperature.
The project is physically, environmentally, biologically and sociologically unfit, he viewed.
Chairing the function, Prof M Feroze Ahmed, vice chancellor of Stamford University, said the project would destroy fisheries in the adjacent rivers of the world's largest mangrove forest.
Abul Basher, professor of zoology at Dhaka University, and NCSS Member Secretary Abdul Matin also spoke among others.